Pilot Campaign: How Much Will It Cost To Get Sales Leads From Online Ad

I just finished a meeting this morning with a client whom I did a pilot campaign last month. I wanted to prove to him and the board members that digital marketing works.

They paid for the testing phase. My team delivered on the target he set, now he is convinced and ready to invest big time and put us on a monthly retainer. I’m sure you are wondering what a pilot campaign means…

You see, I know nothing when I take on a new client who’s never used Google Ads or Facebook ads or LinkedIn ads for lead generation. I don’t know which keywords are going to convert, I don’t know what ad copy will resonate with the searchers, I don’t know which demographics, times or locations will have the highest conversion rate.

I don’t know how their competitors will react… They might go to war to keep impression share or they might not bother. I don’t know if search partners will generate any meaningful volume. I don’t even know if the cost per action on search partners will be cheap or exorbitant.

I don’t know how well the client will respond to incoming leads. I don’t know if their sales process or offer is good enough to influence strangers to buy from them.

I don’t know how long it will take from the time a potential customer fills in the inquiry form to the time they actually buy. I don’t know how comfortable it will be to work with the client.


Let me get this clear, I am not saying I don’t know my job. I’ve done keyword research, looked at the competitor’s ads and websites and talked about the sales process and value of a lead.

I have almost a decade’s experience generating leads using Google Ads, Facebook ads, Instagram ads, Linkedin ads for clients. But the truth is, its all theory until you launch the campaign.

The only way to know for sure if google ads, Facebook ads or LinkedIn ads will work and if the relationship with the client will be comfortable is to test it.

A pilot campaign is a test.

A pilot campaign the smallest campaign that will answer these questions:


  • How many sales leads can we get every month from Facebook ads, Instagram ads or Google ads?
  • How much will it cost to generate a sales lead?
  • How well will these leads fit the business?
  • How many leads will turn into sales?


A pilot campaign has to be simple enough to be built in a few hours.

Let me be clear here. It requires skill, care and diligence, the same as any other campaign. The difference is that you are building less.


Once the pilot test is complete. I look at the results and then plan for a full-blown campaign.

Hope this was helpful.


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